API Overview

Thomas Burleson edited this page Jan 5, 2017 · 25 revisions

API Overview

The Flex Layout features provide smart, syntactic directives to allow developers to easily and intuitively create responsive and adaptive layouts using Flexbox CSS.

The public Layout API is a simply list of HTML attributes that can be used on HTML containers and elements. An important [fundamental] concept is understanding which APIs are used on DOM containers versus APIs used on DOM elements in those containers.

API for DOM containers:

HTML API     Allowed values
fxLayout row | column | row-reverse | column-reverse
fxLayoutAlign start|center|end|space-around|space-between start|center|end|stretch
fxLayoutWrap "" | wrap | none | nowrap | reverse
fxLayoutGap %, px, vw, vh

These directives ^ affect the flow and layout children elements in the container

API for DOM elements:

HTML API Allowed values
fxFlex "" , px , %, vw, vh, " ",
fxFlexOrder int
fxFlexOffset %, px, vw, vh
fxFlexAlign start|baseline|center|end
fxFlexFill

These directives ^ affect the layout and size of the host element. Note the API expects their elements to inside a DOM container which is itself using the Layout API for containers.

API for any element:

HTML API Allowed values
fxHide TRUE, FALSE, 0, ""
fxShow TRUE, FALSE, 0, ""


Shown below is sample HTML markup that uses both the container and element API:

Static Markup Example

<div fxLayout='column' class="zero">

  <div fxFlex="33"                          class="one" ></div>
  <div fxFlex="33%" [fxLayout]="direction" class="two">

    <div fxFlex="22%"    class="two_one"></div>
    <div fxFlex="205px"  class="two_two"></div>
    <div fxFlex="30"     class="two_three"></div>

  </div>
  <div fxFlex class="three"></div>

</div>

Flex Layout directives assign CSS styles directly in-line to the host element. These in-line styles override inherited styles, ShadowDOM styles and even ShadowDOM tree stylings on the element :host

Responsive Features

To extend the static API with responsive features, we first associate specific breakpoint aliases with mediaQuery values. And if we use Breakpoints as specified by Material Design:


We can associate breakpoints with mediaQuery definitions using breakpoint alias(es):

breakpoint mediaQuery
"" 'screen'
xs 'screen and (max-width: 599px)'
gt-xs 'screen and (min-width: 600px)'
sm 'screen and (min-width: 600px) and (max-width: 959px)'
gt-sm 'screen and (min-width: 960px)'
md 'screen and (min-width: 960px) and (max-width: 1279px)'
gt-md 'screen and (min-width: 1280px)'
lg 'screen and (min-width: 1280px) and (max-width: 1919px)'
gt-lg 'screen and (min-width: 1920px)'
xl 'screen and (min-width: 1920px)'


If we combine the breakpoint alias with the Layout API we can easily support Responsive breakpoints with a simple markup convention: the alias is used as suffix extensions to the Layout API:

<api>.<breakpoint alias>="<value>"
[<api>.<breakpoint alias>]="<expression>"

Below is an example usage of the Responsive Layout API:

<div fxLayout='column' class="zero">

  <div fxFlex="33" [fxFlex.md]="box1Width" class="one" ></div>
  <div fxFlex="33" [fxLayout]="direction" fxLayout.md="row" class="two">

    <div fxFlex="22"    fxFlex.md="10px" fxHide.lg                       class="two_one"></div>
    <div fxFlex="205"   fxFlex.md="65"                                    class="two_two"></div>
    <div fxFlex="30px"  fxFlex.md="25"   fxShow [fxHide.md]="hideBox"   class="two_three"></div>

  </div>
  <div fxFlex class="three"></div>

</div>

In the markup above the layout directives use both static values and expression bindings; where the values are expressed as raw, percentage, or pixel values.


Known Issues

1) Template Parser Exceptions:

The Angular Template Parser will throw errors if responsive directives are used WITHOUT their associated static API/markup

<div [fxLayout.md]="direction" 
      fxLayoutAlign="center stretch" 
      fxLayoutAlign.md="end stretch">
</div>

When compiled:

 Error: Template parse errors:
        Can't bind to 'fxLayout.md' since it isn't a known property of 'div'. ("
                <div [ERROR ->][fxLayout.md]="direction" 
                     fxLayoutAlign="center stretch" 
                     fxLayoutAli"): TestLayoutComponent@1:13
            at SyntaxError.BaseError [as constructor] 
           (dist/vendor/@angular/compiler/bundles/compiler.umd.js:

A simple fix is to add the static API attribute:

<div  fxLayout
     [fxLayout.md]="direction" 
      fxLayoutAlign="center stretch" 
      fxLayoutAlign.md="end stretch">
</div>

This will be fixed in Angular 2.5.x. See Issue #13355